Did DoC Use the IANA Contract to Convince ICANN to Nix .XXX?|
posted by Mueller on Sunday June 25 2006, @10:08AM
ICM Registry has issued a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about the US Department of Commerce's role in prodding ICANN to vote down the .xxx domain. This one promises to yield information even juicier than the last one.
ICM's Registry's FOIA request is based on the hypothesis that the Commerce Department may have used its power over the award of the IANA contract to shift the key ICANN Board votes (Twomey and Cerf in particular, who pull several others with them) against the .xxx contract. The request asserts, "Shortly before the [May 9 2006] ICANN Board meeting and the vote on the .xxx domain, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communication and Information John Kneuer and certain staff members reportedly met with Paul Twomey of ICANN and others to discuss, among other things, the interrelationship of " the IANA sole source contract, the .xxx vote, and the NTIA's Notice of Inquiry on the future of the Memorandum of Understanding between ICANN and the U.S. Commerce Department.
A threat to shift the IANA contract to someone else, or to open it up to competitive bidding, would certainly light a fire under ICANN. But at this time, the hypothesis that DoC did this is just that -- a theory that remains to be tested. It will be interesting to see the evidence.